I was asked recently, what with all the hoopla surrounding young Piper's debut, if she made me a first-time Uncle. Not hardly; I have nieces and nephews in the double-digits:
FROM SISTER-IN-LAW CHRISTY:
I have two nieces and two nephews. Ashley, the oldest, was still a baby when I first met her. Our very first day together I was tasked with changing her incredibly stinky diaper. However, she has recently learned the art of pooping on her own, having graduated high school this past month. She's smart, despite her having picked up smoking, and hopefully the future will be bright for her.
Next down that line is Cody, who in his adolescence has grown from boy to man so quickly that the last time I was over their house he was napping on the couch and I swear to god I heard his bones creaking with growth.
They have a younger brother and sister, Seth and Alexis, who despite only seeing us once a year, inexplicably love their Aunt Vicki and Uncle Gary. They are around 6 and 4, more or less, and are just the cutest things in the state of Ohio.
FROM SISTER-IN-LAW LAURIE:
My nephew Cory is now pushing 20 - employed and with a license and EVERYTHING! I've watched his interests move from Ninja Turtles and Megazords to ... to ... well, whatever the hell he's into now.
FROM SISTER-IN-LAW BARBARA:
Barb and her husband Brian have three of the most well-behaved children I've ever met. It really is remarkable; they still have that special exuberance that kids have but never at the expense of being disrespectful or destructive.
One evening we were over the house and their youngest, Jacob, asked his mom if he could have some yogurt. Upon getting approval, he got one out from the fridge, grabbed a spoon, and set to eating. When he was done, this five-year-old child, without being asked or reminded, rinsed the yogurt cup and lid and threw them away, rinsed the spoon and put it in the dishwasher. His sisters, Brooke and Brianna, are no less polite, charming, and delightful to spend time with.
FROM SISTER-IN-LAW JAN:
Bryon just graduated college - COLLEGE, for heaven's sake! - and has just become a dad for the first time himself, to a beautiful baby boy named Evan. I guess that makes me a great-uncle. Yeesh.
Despite hating the Red Sox, Bryon is another great example of a good kid who grew up to be a good man. He's going to be a great Dad.
FROM SISTER-IN-LAW CHRIS:
My brother Eric has a 12-year old daughter, Natasha, who, despite her best efforts not to let it show, just loves her Uncle Gary. Despite having a heaping helping of Jacobs genes, she looks enough like her mom to be pretty. Actually I see a lot of my mother in her, especially her head of curly hair.
It was my pleasure to educate Tasha on the realities of bedtime ("It's not for you - it's for your parents so they can have some quiet time after you go to bed. Use this fact and it can be the first thing you can negotiate away").
She's a pretty typical 12-year-old; she does a lot of text messaging, doesn't care much for schoolwork, and -- oh, that reminds me. Hey! Tasha! Stop screwing around and get your grades up. Will 20 minutes of studying kill you? If all your friends jump off a bridge would you too? Do you live in a barn? Don't make that face, it'll freeze that way.
Anyway, those are my nieces and nephews, and I love them all - especially the ones that love me.